In the summer of 2012, the City moved forward with one of the major implementation steps in the corridor plan - restriping the street into a 3-lane section, which is often referred to as a "road diet", between Upham and Depew Streets, with one thru-lane in each direction and one continuous center turn lane.
The changes are part of a "retrofit" road diet that is a 18-24 month long pilot project. The City will collect data for a variety of metrics, including traffic counts and new businesses on the street, to assess the success of the project. Collection of the data has started and was presented to City Council on November 19th - 38th Implementation Memo. It is too early to draw conclusions and the City will continue to collect data in 2013 and early 2014.
This will inform any permanent changes made to the street in the future. After the pilot project is evaluated, the corridor plan calls for a more permanent construction project that would create wide sidewalks with permanent landscaping and seating areas.
Removal of traffic lanes created room for:
a more pedestrian and bike friendly street
outdoor seating areas (called pop-up cafes),
bike lanes, and
These changes are part of the revitalization strategy and are anticipated to bring benefits like:
slower traffic speeds, and
better pedestrian access.
Road diets like the one that you see on 38th Avenue have been implemented on similar streets throughout the country over the past 20 years.